Dec 28, 2009

Its a Kindle Xmas

This Christmas showed that finally Amazon has figured out the perfect product as its Kindle e-Book was the most gifted item ever and as a new Kindle owner I understand why. The device is amazing, easy to use and the ease that I can now get the latest newspapers and magazines makes it an information junkies perfect gift.

On the the peak day of 14th December 2009, Amazon received around 110 items ordered per second, and at no time did I see any hiccups or downtime.  From an e-commerece solution Amazon appears to have got everything in place, including the simplified Kindle store. According to their press release around 99% of items were ordered in time to meet holiday deadlines, and my Kindle was received within days of ordering.

The international version while slightly smaller than the new Kindle DX still makes the device a great size to match paperbacks but large enough that it feels like its not going to break.  The readability on the device as is the complimentary wireless 3G connection which is used to deliver subscriptions and buy books online. 

The lack of diagrams and images included in newspapers does make it faster loading, but does reduce the value of the some of the stories and hopefully Australia will still have some local papers available in the Kindle store. 

The only downside is that it appears much of the websites listed on the device for the basic web browser have been disabled except for Wikipedia. It would have been better to to have removed these bookmarks and I would have never know, but knowing that these have been removed does offer a small let down for such a great product.

So I suggest that if you haven't already got a Amazon Kindle, I suggest giving it a go and you will be in love.

Blogs for Print

One of the growing trends is to profit from successful blogs by turning the previous posts into a book.  One of the best marketed products is Blog2Print who is now buying ad space on the blogger pop-up that is shown when a new post is made.

They are powered by SharedBook and offer the service to Blogger, Typepad and Wordpress hosted blogs.  It is a very interesting way to quickly transfer your blog into a published book with just a couple of clicks, by selecting your cover, posts to include, images and comments.  To capture the fast growing segment of e-books they also offer a pdf version which should allow blog authors to capture both sections of the market. 

The trend towards bloggers making money by selling their successful posts is growing and is not limited to articles and now includes popular images and cartoons.  The observer lists several recent blogs that have been printed by large publishing houses.

Some of the recent publications include:
Pets who want to kill themselves
"Unnecessary quotation marks"
This is why you are fat
Postcards from Yo Mamma
Stuff white people like
Look at this fucking hampster

If you are thinking of writing a book based on your blog or thinking of starting a blog to supplement your income we suggest some of these amazon books might be useful. Problogger is one of the leading internet publishers who has expanded his blog to offer a jobs for bloggers section, which might be a great place to start.

Google Checkout in 2010

Google has announced continued support for members of its Google Grants program by offering free donation processing until 2011. It would have been a great Christmas gift if they extended this offer to all non-profits who can continue to process donations according to Google Checkout's standard fee structure.

Their checkout team did a very interesting experiment about suggested donation amounts. Their conclusion after testing 4 options: blank, $20, $50, $100.

The conclusion was that leaving the suggested donation blank resulted in the greatest donations and the total amount collected. It is all possible to test this with your own website using Google Analytics & Website Optimiser.